READ Global Blog - The Library Log: On Proverty and Education in Rural Asia

Published: Friday, 20 February 2015

Women in Rajasthan

This January, the Indian State of Rajasthan passed an executive order barring anyone with less than eight years of formal education from running for election for head of village council (gram panchayat). This effectively disqualified roughly half of men and three-quarters of women from running in elections that began in January, and will impact more than 68 million of India’s people. Across the country, candidates in 170 elections ran unopposed. In at least seven gram panchayats, there were no willing candidates with the educational qualifications to run for office. Those posts remain vacant.

For International Women’s Day this March 8, we asked female leaders at one of our READ Centers in Baran, Rajasthan about how access to education impacts leadership opportunities within their communities.

Published: Wednesday, 18 February 2015

This winter, READ opened three new Centers in the Terai region of southern Nepal, as part of an exciting new partnership with The Reach out to Asia Foundation.

Two of the Centers - Jahada and Pragatinagar - are located in Nawalparasi, a densely populated agricultural region where poverty forces many residents to cross the nearby border to India in search of work. Local literacy rates are low, especially for women. The Pokhariya Center serves the nearby district of Parsa, where only 53% of the population is literate.

Published: Friday, 30 January 2015

Grandfather Storytelling

For centuries, the history of Nepal has been transmitted from generation to generation through oral storytelling: passing on stories about culture, livelihoods, and the natural environment of the country. Yet as Nepalese society modernizes and globalizes, this practice has begun to recede: stories once told are forgotten; traditional dances blend with more modern variations; and local histories are lost.

Published: Friday, 06 February 2015

Maternal Health Mobile App

In Nepal, it is difficult for expecting mothers to regularly visit their doctors for prenatal health check-ups. They often have to travel a long way on foot to the nearest health clinic, sometimes across very rough terrain. These conditions also make it difficult for local health workers to keep track of patients.

Published: Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Yangthang READ Center construction

This is a guest post by blogger Passang "Passu" Tshering about the inauguration of National Reading Year in Bhutan in 2015, and the launch of the Yangthang READ Center. The original post can be found on his blog, - Journal of an Ordinary Bhutanese.

"You must read about everything around you- not just subjects that interest you. You must learn about current events, history, science, culture and people around the world. The pursuit of knowledge must be lifelong." - His Majesty the King of Bhutan on the launch of National Reading Year, 2015.